In a reflection of growing ties, Florida will soon be the only U.S. state where El Al will service two major cities, Gov Ron DeSantis said Thursday.
Israel’s national carrier, which recently relocated its U.S. headquarters from New York to Margate, Florida, will offer direct service to Tel Aviv from both Miami and Fort Lauderdale starting this fall.
The two Florida airports are about 30 miles apart.
The move comes after American Airlines ended its nonstop service from Miami to Tel Aviv in March after nearly two years.
The governor attributed the growing demand for El Al’s services in the Sunshine State to the “historic migration” of American Jews and Israeli Americans there due to his business-friendly policies.
DeSantis, who is visiting Israel with a trade delegation, also announced that Avenger Flight Group of Fort Lauderdale will build a training center in Israel with El Al.
Earlier Thursday, the governor signed a bill to strengthen his state’s ability to combat antisemitism and vowed to reject all those who oppose Israel’s right to exist.
The Republican politician was keynoting a conference organized by The Jerusalem Post and the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance.
“When your focus is only on one Jewish state, and you hold it up to a different standard than any other country in the world, that is antisemitism,” said DeSantis.
“We are doing what we can do in Florida to enhance the ability to hold people accountable when that really crosses the line into threatening conduct. We are fighting back,” added the Republican, who is considering a 2024 U.S. presidential run.
“We must reject those who reject Israel’s right to exist,” he said.